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Spring 1997 · Vol. 26 No. 1 · pp. 93–95 

Recommended Reading

On Mennonite History and Millennialism

John B. Toews, Paul Toews, and Richard Kyle

  • John B. Toews, Perilous Journey: The Mennonite Brethren in Russia 1860-1910. Winnipeg, MB: Kindred, 1988.

    An examination of Mennonite Brethren origins and the early Brethren search for stability and continuity.

  • Gerhard and Heinrich Woelk, A Wilderness Journey: Glimpses of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia, 1925-1980. Fresno, CA: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 1982.

    A compilation of first person accounts detailing the deportation of Mennonite Brethren members to northern and eastern Russia. The book portrays the struggle for identity and faith in a setting of dispersion and exile.

The following four volumes comprise “The Mennonite Experience in America” series.

  • Richard K. MacMaster, Land, Piety, Peoplehood: The Establishment of Mennonite Communities in America, 1683-1790. The Mennonite Experience in America vol. 1. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1985.

    The story of Mennonites in colonial America is centered in William Penn’s colony of Pennsylvania which became a haven for various kinds of religious dissenters. Here Mennonites found a political and cultural fellowship among other peaceable peoples. They became active in the political order only to discover that the ideals of nonresistant society clashed with the requirements of statecraft. The withdrawal from political life following the Revolutionary War gave rise to Mennonites becoming a more separated people than they had been in the first century of their American sojourn.

  • Theron F. Schlabach, Peace, Faith, Nation: Mennonites and Amish in Nineteenth-Century America. The Mennonite Experience in America vol. 2. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1988. {94}

    Early nineteenth century American history is sometimes described by the “M factor”—migration, movement, and mobility. The new American people raced westward and created a national society. Mennonites, many of them new immigrants from Switzerland and south Germany, participated in this movement into newly established territories. Schlabach explores how Mennonites with their ethic of humility responded to these movements and to a new American ethic of aggressive individualism and militant nationalism. The responses, often shaped by borrowings from the larger protestant society, fractured the smaller Mennonite world. The coming of the Russian Mennonites, in the latter third of the nineteenth century, further pluralized the small Mennonite world.

  • James C. Juhnke, Vision, Doctrine, War: Mennonite Identity and Organization in America, 1890-1930. The Mennonite Experience in America vol. 3. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1989.

    The fracturing of American Mennonites into those wishing to preserve the inherited traditions (Old Orders) and those willing to adapt (Progressives) and the divisions between the Swiss-South German and Dutch-Russian Mennonites were more pronounced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century than at any other time. Each group sought to define an appropriate Mennonite posture and to organize itself in an increasingly modernizing American culture.

  • Paul Toews, Mennonites in American Society, 1930-1970: Modernity and the Persistence of Religious Community. The Mennonite Experience in America vol. 4. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1996.

    Modern cultures pull all but the most resilient peoples into their orbits. With the integration comes the need for finding mechanisms to preserve the unique and historic identities of the past. The Old Orders with their strategy of boundary maintenance have succeeded, to a remarkable degree, in maintaining themselves. The progressive Mennonites selected a strategy of revitalizing their nuclei or centers. They have maintained a sense of their distinctive identity and witness through the building of institutional centers and programs, in the rediscovery of historic Anabaptism, in the fashioning of a Mennonite ecumenical movement, and in a new missional and service activism that reached out to many peoples of the world. {95}

  • Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1992.

    An excellent analysis of premillennial dispensationalism in modern America.

  • Russell Chandler, Doomsday. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1993.

    A popular level survey of endtime views.

  • Stanley J. Grenz, The Millennial Maze. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992.

    A survey of the major millennial positions in modern America.

  • Bernard McGinn, Antichrist. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1994.

    A survey of how people have viewed the Antichrist throughout Western history.

  • Michael J. St. Clair, Millenarian Movements in Historical Context. New York: Garland, 1992.

    A survey of millennial movements through Western history.

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